Tuesday, November 13, 2001
She was only 21 years old - but she was well on her way to becoming a superstar. Aaliyah was enjoying huge success with her music, and she was beginning to emerge as an actress with a great future, as well. But that all ended in one awful moment in the Bahamas when the plane carrying her and her crew crashed shortly after takeoff. What made the crash even more tragic was the fact that apparently it was avoidable - at least on the preliminary findings of investigators. The plane had been loaded with something like twice its maximum baggage capacity. And investigators believe that it was all that weight that made that plane go down.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Deadly Baggage."
Too much baggage can cause a plane to crash. In fact, it can make a person crash, too. When you're carrying around a lot of emotional and spiritual baggage, it can really weigh you down - and make it very hard for you to fly or reach your destination. And these days, a lot of us are carrying around a lot of baggage. That could be what's holding you back - and even making you crash sometimes.
That's one reason that God tells us in Hebrews 12:1, our word for today from the Word of God, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." The truth is that you may actually be hanging onto baggage that hinders you from running, that keeps tripping you up.
Baggage like a grudge you're holding -- hard feelings you just keep harboring -- resentment that you've allowed to grow instead of letting it go. You've let the "sun go down on your anger" too many times, and the weight of your bitterness is darkening everything around you. A chip on your shoulder starts out weighing a little, but it ends up weighing a lot. The release of forgiving, of making a new beginning with that person is really the only way you can keep from crashing.
It could be that you're dwelling on the pain of your past - which means you're choosing to carry yesterday's pain into this new today. The clear command of God from Isaiah 43:18-19 is to "forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Maybe you're blocking God's new thing by dwelling on the old thing - by not facing that pain, getting whatever help you need to deal with it, and releasing it once and for all. That pain has defined you long enough!
Paul calls us to live like this: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal..." (Philippians 3:13-14). It's time to take an honest look at how much baggage you've been carrying around - all of which Jesus has said He would carry for you. But that baggage has made you negative, stressed, angry, way too sensitive - it's weighing you down and it's keeping you from flying. You don't need to be overloaded like this. Unload that baggage - before it makes you crash.